Alcohol


Alcohol is present in wine, beer, cider, spirits and some traditional fermented drinks (e.g. fermented fruit juices and fermented milk drinks).
The recommended guidelines are no more than 2-3 units a day for women, and no more than 3-4 units a day for men. One unit is equivalent to 8g of alcohol. That's about what you get in half a pint of a weak (4%) lager. Two small (125ml) glasses of wine would contain 3 units. A whole pint of strong lager (5%) or cider also contains 3 units.
Having too much alcohol can lead to health problems. Heavy drinkers often experience a hangover as a consequence of drinking the night before. This includes headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, dry mouth etc. Longer term health effects include liver and brain problems as well as social and psychological problems.

To date, there is no clear evidence showing that drinking alcohol has different health effects on people who are HIV positive compared to people who are HIV negative. However, if you already have liver disease, which may be caused by HIV infection, or your CD4 count is low (i.e. you have a weakened immune system), it is advisable to reduce your alcohol consumption to a minimum or, preferably, stop drinking altogether.
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